Family accepts O'Neal's offer
MIAMI -- The family of George Mikan accepted Shaquille O'Neal's offer to pay for the late center's funeral expenses.
O'Neal said arrangements were finalized Friday. "Everything's going to be handled," O'Neal said.
Mikan, the NBA's first dominant big man, died Wednesday night at a rehabilitation center in Scottsdale, Ariz., following a long fight with diabetes and kidney ailments. He was 80.
O'Neal said he greatly enjoyed getting to know and speak with Mikan on several occasions. Shortly after the Heat beat Detroit 88-76 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night, O'Neal said he would like to handle the funeral costs.
"I heard they were having some trouble, some problems, so if you contact the Heat office, I would like to pay for the funeral," O'Neal said.
O'Neal and Mikan are linked by leading the Lakers franchise to multiple NBA championships; Mikan carried the Minneapolis Lakers to five titles in a six-year span. O'Neal led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000-2002.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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